Monday, August 31, 2009

Trolley-Bus Contact

Yesterday I had my Book of Mormon in my purse, then I got the feeling that I should take it out and hold it in my hands.
Later that day, Sister Pack and I were riding the trolley bus to go to the church building for something. Then, a lady leaned over and asked me that she would like to read that book (as she was pointing to it) and asked if she could have one. She was speaking in Russian so I called Sister Pack over and she asked her if she would like it in Ukrainian or Russian. We didn't have a Russian one on us, so the lady gave us her name and phone number and we arranged to meet her today and maybe tell her a little bit about it! I love it when that happens! We are going to meet her in about 20 minutes, so I better get going!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Inconvenient Messiah

We had a fantastic district meeting this week. It was based around Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's speech called, “The Inconvenient Messiah”. As we were reading we stopped several times to discuss what was being taught. Every person contributed something to the discussion and the Spirit was so strong that after we were finished reading we all just sat there for several minutes pondering in silence. The talk that we read is about how Christ's life never ever was easy- so if we are to be true disciples of Him, why should we expect our lives to be easy? Even though following the commandments, keeping our covenants, and being the very best that we can be is, of course, not convenient all of the time, but it is what brings the most joy. There are so many aspects of life that this applys to. This morning, I wanted to make some crepes, but I didn't have all of the ingredients, and I was lazy and didn't measure what I was throwing into the mixing bowl, so my breakfast didn't turn out so well. It was edible, but not as good as if I had taken the time to make sure I had all the ingredients and follow the recipe according to the recipe. Just as in our lives, if we take the time to do what is right, even though it may be inconvenient for us at the time, it will be most rewarding to us in the end.
How can I apply this to missionary work? -Even though sometimes I just want to jump straight to a baptismal commitment with my investigators, that would be too easy. It takes time and effort and a lot of learning and growth to prepare a person for a baptismal commitment. When all of that has taken place, you know that they are ready, and will be truly converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
How can you apply this principle to your life?
We also read the same article again in our mini zone conference, because it is that good! I invite you to read and study it as well, even discuss it for Family Home Evening.
As for updates on our investigators, I'm glad to know that out of small and simple things, great things come to pass. I just need the patience for it! I think that our investigators don't even know that they are receiving missionary lessons, we just talk to them about what they want to talk about, and something always leads into exactly what we wanted to share with them that day! It's amazing!
In other news, Monday was Ukraine's Independence day. Happy Birthday Ukraine! While we are on the subject of birthdays, mine is coming up soon- Sep. 4Th, so how about everyone write to me! Hooray!

P.S. The word “to punish” in Ukrainian is Karate! Love it!


Monday, August 17, 2009

I get to stay!

I am just about to complete my first transfer (6 week time period) and I have found out that I get to stay in my same area, with my same companion, Sister Pack! I am super excited about this, because just one transfer here is not enough, the ward is so awesome, and I know that there is so much more that I can learn from Sister Pack, and we have so much potential right on our fingertips that something just has to happen with! It just has to!

There are so many little miracles that are happening that it is so wonderful to see and be a part of!
A couple of weeks ago, a man and his daughter walked into the church asking about English lessons. So we met with him and his wife once, but all our appointments kept getting canceled after that. Sister Pack and I were talking about how we could share the gospel to them without them getting offended and thinking that the English lessons are only for that purpose, because we really do want to help them learn English. Well, one day when we had finally made another appointment with them, we were walking out to their house and were just minutes away when they call and say that they are out taking a walk and can't meet with us. We were upset that once again a planned appointment didn't happen. Then, as we were walking back to the church, we ran into the family! We shared greetings then the husband simply asked us how our religion is different from the Jewish religion. So we simply replied and then he pointed to the Book of Mormon and asked what that was and then we explained that as well and told them that he could have it and read it if he wanted to and he did! Wow, it still amazes me that the Lord's hand is in everything that we do!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What kind of pigeons are we?

It has been another week where all of our investigators have been away at their "dotcha"s or at the Black Sea, or at weddings. I'm glad that summer is almost over! We have been making progress with our English students though. A family of four has been coming to English for about a month now and they always left before the spiritual thought, well, this week they actually stayed and accepted a Book of Mormon! I am so excited for them, they are all such wonderful people and I know that the Gospel will bless their lives and strengthen their family. I love English class!
Here is a story about how I was taught by the spirit this week:
We were on our way to stop by one of our investigators, and outside of their apartment building was a strange tree-house looking thing, but it wasn't in a tree. Sister pack and I were trying to figure out what it was, but then gave up. Well, we got to the door of our investigator, and she was not home, so we took a step out onto the balcony of that floor to take in a view of the city from the very tall building. I looked down and noticed a man swinging a very long stick with bags on the end of it over the tree-house-thing. Then he made a funny call and pigeons started landing on top of the roof! It was a pigeon house and he is a pigeon trainer! Cool! My great-grandpa trained pigeons, so I was curious to see what he would do next. Most of the pigeons that were in the air landed on the roof, except three that were still circling about in the air. The pigeon trainer watched for them to come down but after a few minutes he then walked away. As I was thinking about this later that day I was wondering to myself- am I one of the pigeons that will answer right away to my master's call? Or do I just fly around in circles, doing my own thing until it is too late and the master walks away. I also noticed that the pigeon trainer only called once. He did not call several times and wait and wait for all of the pigeons to come to him. It is only the obedient pigeons that he wants to train, it is only the obedient pigeons who will be blessed with food and the protection of the birdhouse. Just like the children of God, it is only the obedient who are fed and nourished by the words of Christ. It is only the obedient who will find perfection and blessings of the temple. Our Father calls to us all and the opportunity is there for all the children, but only the obedient respond. So it is my mission to teach those wandering children how to hear their master's voice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

English lessons and Charity

This has been quite an interesting week. All of our investigators were super busy and could not find any time to meet with us. Although we did have some English lessons that we hope will lead to investigators. Speaking of which, on Friday, Sister Pack and I were practicing a song to sing for a baptism at a church building, and out of nowhere, in walks a man and his two year old daughter. He said they were just walking by and saw an English lesson advertisement in the window and wanted to learn more about it. We told him that we had a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that he could attend, or we could give private English lessons to his family at his home and he said the private lessons sounded great! We met with him and his family on Saturday and they are very nice people and we have another lesson with them tomorrow!
There is another girl from the English class that we have been meeting with, she has a member friend and knows a lot about the church. Actually, she and her member friend are going to give Sister Pack and I a walking tour of Kiev today!

In personal and companionship study this past week we have been studying the Christlike attribute of Charity and Love. We were brought to a new enlightenment when we realized that the opposite of charity is selfishness. And how every sin is derived from being selfish. Jesus Christ, who was filled with charity- pure love, was without sin. When we have so much charity for our fellow men, that we in no way think about ourselves, we cannot sin. I can apply this to missionary work and how if I am filled with charity, I will truly forget myself, and do those things that will only help people find their path to Christ. In so doing I will not fall into the temptation of doing things that only I want and what would be easiest for me, and all of the missionary guidelines will fall into place, and I will have a great desire to love and serve the people.